A VERSATILE ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL UNIT FOR THE DISABLED

Period of Performance: 01/01/1993 - 12/31/1993

$50K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Dvp, Inc.
2401 Reserach Blvd., Suite 200
Rockville, MD 20850
Principal Investigator

Abstract

THE PROJECT IS DEVELOPING A VERSATILE ENVIRONMENT CONTROLLER (VEC) THAT ALLOWS INDIVIDUALS WITH VARYING DISABILITIES TO CONTROL MULTIPLE EXTERNAL DEVICES IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT (E.G., HOME APPLIANCES, COMPUTERS, ETC.). THE VEC IS DISTINGUISHED FROM EXISTING ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL UNITS (ECU) IN THAT CLINICAL PROFESSIONALS ARE ABLE TO ADAPT IT TO MEET THE NEEDS OF DISABLED END USERS. EXISTING ECUS ARE OFTEN LIMITING DEVICES THAT IMPOSE CONSTRAINTS ON THE TYPES OF INPUT AND OUTPUT INFORMATION THAT THEY CAN PROCESS. AS SUCH, CLINICIANS OFTEN HAVE DIFFICULTY ADAPTING ECUS FOR END USERS, SO END USERS ARE PROVIDED WITH LESS-THAN-OPTIMAL SYSTEMS. FURTHER, THESE SYSTEMS ARE GENERALLY EXPENSIVE TO SET UP AND MANY HAVE QUESTIONABLE UTILITY AND RELIABILITY. BY USING A RECENTLY INTRODUCED POWERFUL AND STANDARD TECHNOLOGY FOR INTERCONNECTING INPUT AND OUTPUT DEVICES, RESEARCHERS ARE DESIGNING AND DEVELOPING THE VEC WITH ADAPTABILITY BEING A BUILT-IN CHARACTERISTIC. THE RESULT IS A SYSTEM THAT ALLOWS CLINICIANS TO SET UP ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL APPLICATIONS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH VARYING DISABILITIES QUICKLY AND COST-EFFECTIVELY.